I said, “Does anyone have any questions for me?”
The response, “Yes Carrie I do. Since you’ve been in business for over ten years will you share the top three things that you believe have led to your success?”
It was a question I didn’t expect so I thought a moment … here’s the answer I shared. The top three things I did to grow my business.
1. Take myself seriously and get support. During the first six months I was in business I figured I could handle it. I thought I “knew” what needed to be done and could just do it. I also decided that, since I was my own boss, I could make all of the rules and have lunch with friends whenever I wanted. After all, one of the main reasons I started my own business was for flexibility, right?
A program I joined about six months after I started my business required me to have a coach. I didn’t even know what a coach was at the time. Since then I have ALWAYS had a coach. Some coaches have been better than others. Some were hired for a specific purpose. ALL have been business coaches. In addition to sharing great ideas, helping me get out of my own head, helping me see my business from the outside and providing me with incredible accountability, these coaches have forced me to take my business seriously. It forced me to take notice of myself and to see myself as a business owner and not a stay at home mom with a side gig. I was forced to think like a business owner. When a friend calls for lunch, there are times I say yes (flexibility is still important) and there are times I say no, because I have business responsibilities to take care of.
2. Ask for the business. It took time for me to get the confidence in my skills and myself, but once I realized that the only way to get business was to ask for it, things went a lot better. There are still times that I hesitate but, for the most part, if I sense that I can help someone, I invite him or her to have a discussion about it. Here’s the thing, unless you ask them to work with you they will still have the problem that they’re having and you will still have no clients.
3. Accept that nothing will ever be perfect. Wow, this one was a tough lesson. I have a Wall Street background. When I worked for the New York Stock Exchange people got fired for making mistakes. It was a very high-pressure environment. The information we shared with our clients and our prospects had to be right.
To be fair, the idea of perfectionism suited me too. I want the work that I produce to be more than just accurate, I want it to be perfect. I want it to look perfect, sound perfect and reflect me, and what I do, perfectly.
Here’s what I’ve learned about perfectionism. It’s an impossibility. I look back at the work that I created ten years ago, and even more recently and shudder.
Some of the imperfections are errors that I missed, but most of the imperfections are examples of things that no longer reflect me, or what I’m doing, because I have grown and changed. Perfectionism implies that there is no way for it to grow or improve. You know, I sure hope I’m not perfect right now. I couldn’t imagine not growing from here.
This does not mean that you should be careless and not pay attention to how things look and sound and do your best, but I also know that if I had not gone ahead with those imperfect things, I would not be where I am today. I would not have grown and the clients that I’ve worked with wouldn’t have had the experience of working with me.
So now I’m curious… what would your business look like if you incorporated the three things that turned my business around? Go ahead and let me know by clicking here and sharing with me.
I was speaking to a colleague who, like me, is a coach who works with other business owners. We hadn’t spoken for about a year. I was happy to catch up with her. When I asked her what was going on, she told me that she was looking for a job in the corporate world. She missed the predictability of a job. She was tired of making decisions and she missed the regular paycheck.
In some ways I can relate. Running your own business is often difficult, but I find the rewards outweigh the difficulties. All in all I love being an entrepreneur, but there’s one thing I can’t stand…being a solopreneur. It gets lonely! It’s so easy to spend your day alone, lost in your own world, with no perspective about what’s going on around you.
In my experience I find that solopreneurs have a tendency to get stuck and:
- Make problems bigger than they are.
- Think other entrepreneurs just breeze through their day (they don’t).
- Make excuses and get stuck in their own way.
- Can’t find their way out of a problem.
- Miss new opportunities because they have so many ideas.
- Spend the day on Facebook because it’s so much easier to see what other people are doing than to get to work.
- Under-earn because their focus tends to be on the current fire and not on long-term business goals.
When you get out from behind your desk, and your computer, a whole new world opens for you. You get outside of your own brain and get a reality check. You open yourself up to input from other people. You experience things that motivate and inspire you. You get ideas simply from being part of life and the various situations you find yourself in. You experience life and interact with people who you can help, or can help you.
Here are 5 things my clients and I do that get us out from behind our computers and interacting with the world.
- Go to the gym and interact with the people you meet there. The exercise is great for your body and brain, but it’s more than that. You may well meet people who become clients.
- Go to local networking events. Ideally the networks will feed your business, but even if they aren’t full of your “ideal clients,” at least you will be getting out of your own office and meeting other entrepreneurs. One warning, stay away from networks that are full of negativity. Look for people who are positive and excited about what they are doing and their businesses. People who can support you when you are feeling stuck.
- Join virtual networks. I like in-person networks, but go ahead and look outside of your home environment to find entrepreneurs doing similar work as you. Think of ways that you can support them and how they may in turn support you.
- Attend events or conferences. There is nothing like human interaction to see what is going on in the world. Where are your ideal clients congregating? Where are your business colleagues congregating? It might be a big conference or a small local event. Get out and shake hands with people. Don’t think of it as a place to sell yourself but a place to get to know people and find new friends.
- Get a coach. Your coach should be someone who has a good understanding of what is going on at your level of business, as well as a perspective of what’s going on at other levels. Your coach can keep you grounded, motivated, focused and feeling positive about moving forward.
Have fun! Yes, it’s important to take your business seriously, but don’t forget that you have a life too. Make time for yourself, your friends and family outside of your business. In addition to feeling better you’ll be surprised at how much that fun feeds your business.
How do you feel about being a solopreneur? I’d love to know. Please share your thoughts with me.
Laser Coaching Opportunity!
International Coach Week is February 5 – 11.
To celebrate I’m hosting a live 90-minute group coaching experience for just $7!
For just $7 you get to join me LIVE and get the personalized help you need to take your business to the next level!
This call is ideal for you if you are an entrepreneur who is:
- Feeling stuck or overwhelmed;
- Wondering how to bring in income quickly;
- Having trouble deciding between the many marketing strategies available;
- Missing deadlines;
I will be coaching participants on a first come, first serve basis and each person will be limited to 7 minutes. I encourage you to get on the line early and come prepared to answer the following two questions so we can create solutions!
- What is the biggest obstacle you currently face in your business?
- What one thing have you been putting off that would help your business move forward?
Something to keep in mind…
Even if I don’t get to you during the call (or you don’t want to be coached) remember this session will be extremely valuable because you will be able to put the strategies I will be sharing in place in your own business and life.
One last thing…I will be recording the call and all registrants will get the recording but that takes all the fun out of it so do try to join me live!
Looking forward to speaking with you on Wednesday during “coach week”!
Click on the “Sign Up Now” button below to sign up for this call!.
P.S. Do you know anyone else who might benefit from being coached? Send them the link to this page and have them join us!
I was at a party recently and ran into a woman I’ve known for years. She is a friend and a former client. As we stood talking over a tasty treat she told me that, despite the work we’ve done together, she still procrastinates. I replied…”Yeah, me too.” She looked at me, shocked and said, “I can’t believe it. You do so much! There’s NO WAY, you procrastinate.”
So here’s the cold hard truth. Yes, I procrastinate. In fact I’m a master procrastinator and I’m not alone. According to studies done on procrastination (I wonder how long those took to complete!) 95% of all people procrastinate. My personal belief is that the other 5% of the population are lying. Oh and according to those same studies, 25% of us are chronic procrastinators. Yes, you can put me in that 25%.
Just because everyone procrastinates does not mean it is okay. Procrastination is bad for business, bad for profits and bad for you.
It’s kind of obvious that procrastination costs us time, energy and money and I can give you a lot of examples about how, but there are two things that are even worse that we tend to forget.
1. You’re being selfish. The people who we are “supposed” to be helping don’t get the help that they need. You know the book that you’ve been meaning to write? Well, the person who needs to read it can’t. You know that person who you met at a networking event that you’ve been meaning to follow up with about your program? Well, that person isn’t getting the support they need to move forward. Read more
Confession time…I decided to run a 5K for all the wrong reasons. My daughter’s boyfriend is a jock, my daughter isn’t. He wanted to run with her and she couldn’t. When I saw a sign at our gym for the new class “How to Train and Eat for a 5K” I saw it as an opportunity for her to start running. Sammi wouldn’t do it alone so to help her we both joined the class.
This was a huge step for me because, although I work out regularly, I’ve always been a firm believer that I could not run. I knew it was painful and horrible. Besides, just running to the corner would leave me breathless. It’s amazing what you do for your kids or so I said at the time.
The class was great because it gave us a coach and gave us a plan to teach us how to run so that we could make continual progress without getting hurt. But the most important piece was that we had each other.
Day by day our runs got longer. I found that the more we ran the more it became my personal goal and I was not doing this just for Sammi. I started to feel an immense sense of satisfaction with every mile I ran.
In a recent Editor’s letter in Inc. magazine Jane Berentson wrote that she is impressed “…with the entrepreneurs who spend time, money, and careful thought creating great work environments. We know (though the outside world usually doesn’t) that entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to fashion not just a product or a service but also a culture that reflects their attitudes and values.”
Yes, we entrepreneurs are lucky. We get to design our business exactly the way we want. We get to do what we want to do, when we want to do it and with whomever we want to do it. We get to make all the decisions and all the rules. Nobody can tell us what to do!
On the one hand it’s great but on the other…boy there’s a lot of responsibility. Sometimes, when faced with decisions to make or the consequences of decisions you may have already made, it may seem easier to have (dare I say it?) … a boss.
Being an entrepreneur means staying motivated and true to yourself. It means, waking up ready to go and do more than you planned to do. It means, doing the hard things and taking risks. It means, asking for help when you need it and absolutely giving help whenever you can.
As an entrepreneur you are in a unique position — you get to create the life you want as you build the business of your dreams. You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself, but it’s vital that you’re asking the right questions and that you answer those questions honestly.
Here are three questions that I not only ask my clients but also ask myself as I approach ideas or tasks for my own business.
- Is what I’m planning on doing today in line with the vision I have for myself and my business?
- Is what I’m doing at this moment moving me closer to my goal?
- What are the results of the actions I’ve taken so far? Do I need to rework or reevaluate my plan?
One last thought…
I’ve been in business for myself for eight years and I ask myself these questions often but, as powerful as these questions are, I find them most effective when someone else asks me them. I rely on a coach to help me make sound decisions. My coach is not my boss and does not tell me what to do but does offer some sound advice and more importantly an outside perspective and a reality check.
Imagine what a difference it would make in your business if you had someone available to you help you make decisions, brainstorm and help you grow your business. I’d like to offer you the opportunity to find out what a coach can do for you.
I have just a few openings in the CarrieThru Premier Coaching Program. I would like to offer one to you if you are an entrepreneur who is ready to take your dream and your business to the next level and beyond.
These spots are available by application only. After you apply you and I will have a private conversation to make sure that the program makes sense for you and your business and that you and I are a good fit for what you’re looking to accomplish.
Click here to apply.
There is no charge to apply or for the conversation. However, please remember that this program is only appropriate for you if you are a business owner who is ready to see your business grow by making decisions, taking action and investing in yourself and your business.
Applications are due by May 20th at midnight.
Click here to apply for one of the THREE CarrieThru Premier Coaching Spots.
I’m looking forward to speaking with you…